ABRP Reddy, MD, CG Mantra
With the vision to provide world-class animated content and delivery model of animation production, CG Mantra is all set to take the Indian entertainment industry to a high pedestal. In an interview, ABRP Reddy,Founder, CG Mantra shares the inception of the company.
Abha Garyali (AG): Brief us about the inception of CG Mantra?
ABRP Reddy (AR): Being actively involved in private education programmes for the last 20 years; I felt there was a need to change the content and delivery model of animation education. My association with NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies) for the past two years as an advisor to NASSCOM’s Animation and Gaming Forum gave me critical insights of the industry’s requirement and the gap that existed in the system. The Indian entertainment industry is worth Rs 45,000 crore and is absorbing animation and VFX (Visual Effects) content much faster than ever before. All this prompted us to reformat the existing animation education system. In line with these realities and vision for future requirements, we created CG Mantra.
AG: In what ways is CG Mantra different from other Animation/Gaming companies? What is its USP?
AR: We are unique in many ways. Firstly, we have built multiple studios to facilitate effective learning for the students. Integration of facilities like Green Screen Studio, Live Action Studio and Sound Studio into the delivery model makes our students ‘studio-ready’ from the very day they complete their graduation. We also have a faculty panel from abroad who visits our centres on regular intervals. We have become the world’s 11th ‘Authorised Training Centre’ for Autodesk’s Smoke and Flame, which is the entertainment industry’s de-facto standard for high-end compositing and VFX. In fact, we are one of the few education centres in the world where with Smoke and Flame integrated with our studios.
AG: How is the concept of CG Mantra evolving in India?
AR: We have received extremely heartening response from students as well as the industry experts. Majority of our students are those who spent three to nine months in other animation training institutes and migrated to CG Mantra after seeing the learning environment. Retraining market is another segment that is being tapped by us successfully. My own experience of running NIIT operations in Europe and Middle East has been of immense help when designing the franchise model for CG Mantra.
AG: How many centres do you presently have? What are the future target locations for your expansion?
AR: We are not at all in a hurry to set up large numbers as soon as possible. Our expansion is based on the Hub and Spoke concept. Every hub will have all major facilities and support three to four spoke centres. As a proof of concept we have set up a hub and spoke combination in Delhi. We will replicate this model in all metros. Besides this, we will be setting up spoke centres only in Tier-II cities.
AG: What kind of training and support a franchisee would get when partnering with you?
AR: We have a management team with expertise in academics as well as technology augmented by international franchising expertise. We believe that all these three parameters are essential when dealing with an education model for the future. Our team is geared up to support the business partners starting from project implementation stage to grooming and become experts in operations. Besides functional expertise, we have chalked out plans to provide technical expertise to fill up the knowledge gaps from time to time.
AG: What are the challenges that can be faced by the franchisees in this business? How can they overcome these challenges?
AR: With the expertise we have put together, the only challenge that a potential franchisee may have is project financing. From then on, we will be handholding the franchisee for every need that may arise. Our challenge of course is to find the right partners who can grow with us.
AG: What kind of background is necessary for securing a franchise of your company?
AR: We are looking at entrepreneurs with the vision for quality education. We welcome individuals as well as organisations to join hands with us.
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